Developed by Thalmic Labs, the Myo armband is bringing Minority Report-like technology a step closer to reality. For those who haven’t seen the flick, it’s also quite reminiscent of Iron Man Tony Stark’s gesture-controlled holo-computer. Regardless, the one-size-fits-all wearable is well on its way to revolutionizing the way we interact with our digital world.
Using electromyographic (EMG) sensors to recognize electrical signals pulsating through your forearm muscles, Myo can detect detailed data about your arm’s muscle activity. This enables the wearable device to identify whether the wearer’s gestures, whether they’re clenching, flicking, waving their wrist. “We’re building the future of human-computer interaction and we’re excited about how new computer interfaces will shape our lives,” a company rep recently told The Huffington Post.
The next-gen wearable features onboard, rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries, as well as an ARM processor, proprietary muscle activity sensors and a 9-axis inertial measurement unit. Based on an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, Myo connects via Bluetooth-enabled devices to provide gesture recognition in an endless possibility of uses, ranging from healthcare to wireless computing and gaming. As our friends at ARM point out, Myo can control music playback by swiping your hand to change a song, spreading your fingers can stop a song, while volume can be increased and decreased by the rotating a fist to the left and right. Not to mention, “the gadget enables presentations to become easier as slideshows can be controlled by flicking through slides while engagement is gained as presenters are able to zoom in and annotate to draw the audience’s attention to key points.”
Gamers, rejoice! In addition to a number of other applications, wearers will soon be able to immerse themselves within video games as movements such as running, crouching, jumping are all mimicked on the screen. The armband is supposed to work with Windows, Mac, iOS or Android devices. Myo is currently available for pre-order for $149 and is expected to begin shipping this September (after the Myo Developer Kits have been issued).
A number of developers have already had a chance to experiment with the Myo in order to find new ways to make use of it. “It’s been kind of overwhelming the number of different ideas we’ve heard and the things people have already built,” Aaron Grant, one of the co-founders, told CBC News.